The Disney DINKs Love Story
Once upon a time, many years ago, there lived a girl named Julie, who was busy attending college and having fun for the summer. She was going to head to the beach and spend some time with friends. Julie's dad Steve, a part owner of a flight school, knew of a young man named Andrew who was one of his favorite pilots. Julie and Andrew knew of each other, but didn't really know each other, so Steve thought he should change that. He asked Andrew if he was available to take Julie to the beach that day by plane. His plan was genius: more flight hours for Andrew, and no driving for Julie, who could refuse? So on June 16 the two took off to the ocean and during the flight got to know each other a little more. A week later after Julie had returned she asked Andrew if she could take him out to dinner to say thank you. Needless to say that was the beginning of their fairytale romance and the rest is history. So while June 23 marks the official anniversary of their first date, June 16, the day of the flight, is really what started it all.
When Andrew saw that June 16 would mark 15 years since that original flight, he decided it was the perfect opportunity to celebrate. The date fell on a Saturday this year and the same model of plane was available to schedule. And what better way to commemorate the day then by heading to the same flight destination that started it all: Ocean City, Maryland. He made the reservation and couldn't wait to surprise Julie with the fun plans.
An Anniversary Flight
The weather that Saturday turned out to be a perfect day for flying; not too hot, very smooth, and great visibility. We also learned a few days prior that there would be an air show taking place along the ocean the same day for an added bonus. We took off from KGAI to head "downy ocean hon". Along the way we were able to see some sights like the Washington Monument, the Bay Bridge and pretty East Coast landscapes below us.
Welcome to Ocean City, MD
Upon landing it was a little chaotic at the airport with many people in town for the show. We luckily were able to get a parking spot and then wrangled up an Uber to head down to the main beach area. We were dropped off at the very start of the boardwalk area and the first thing we did was get some ice cream from Dumser's Dairyland, a well known shop with numerous locations in the area to include multiples on the boardwalk. We wandered around the pier a bit and then started heading north along the boardwalk to stop in some shops, people watch and see some sights along the way on this gorgeous summer day.
After walking about a mile up to around 2nd Street, we decide it was time for some lunch. We ended up at the Mug & Mallet restaurant right on the boardwalk. It looked a bit like a hole in the wall but many people were eating crabs so we figured we would give it a try. Julie ordered a Crush, a popular local libation that typically features crushed ice, orange vodka and fresh orange juice. She mixed it up by trying a "Green Tea Crush", which featured Jameson Whiskey, Peach Schnapps, fresh squeezed lemon and lemon-lime soda, which was quite tasty. We got an order of crab dip and fish and chips to share which we found really delicious. The Mug & Mallet doesn't get much love on Yelp but we found it a great spot, especially for the price considering it is located on the boardwalk.
Here for the Air Show
After lunch, we continued walking north along the boardwalk. The air show had started mid day and while the main activities were in the middle of the boardwalk the planes were flying up and down the whole strip of beach so everyone could have a good view. There were many demonstrations to include a few WWII warbirds, a P-51 Mustang, F35 Joint Strike Fighter, and paratroopers. The main event featured the Air Force Thunderbirds. There were some epic flight patterns and displays to watch. The show was super entertaining and we snagged some great pics.
When the show wrapped up, we started to feel a bit tired from a fairly long day in the sun so we figured we could start slowly heading back. We had packed some beach gear but it almost seemed like too much effort to change and apply sunscreen to then hop back in the plane all sticky. We figured we would at least spend some time strolling along the water on the way back. The water was a little chilly but really refreshing with the hot sun beating down.
After making our way back to the inlet, we stopped by a few more shops and the arcade to get a fortune. Then we made our way back to the plane. After saying a quick thank you to the staff at the airport, we hopped in the Cessna 172, fired it up, and headed for home.
While we didn't do a ton while visiting, we had a relaxing time just walking up and down the boardwalk, enjoying the sights, sounds, and food. It was a great way to commemorate that special day 15 years ago that started it all. Here's to the next 15 years (and many more) of adventure!